Two Thirds Of Brits Would Switch To A Plant-based Diet To Live Longer, 1 in 10 Would Do It To Improve Sex Life
Research of 2,000 UK adults conducted by Upfield, the leading producer of plant-based margarines, vegan cheeses, and vegan spreads, reveals that over two thirds of Brits (68%) have, or would consider having, a plant-based diet.
The key motives of going green for 36% are to improve their health and diet, 21% want to eat simpler, more natural ingredients, and 28% want to reduce their negative impact on the environment. For example, some people make more sustainable food choices and prefer to use plant-based margarines and spreads rather than dairy butter, knowing that they have 70% less climate impact than traditional dairy butter.
A quarter of the UK (25%) also want to improve animal welfare. 1 in 10 people in the UK would consider switching to a plant-based diet to improve their sex lives. 6% think this would help their career.
Only 1 in 5 thinks going plant-based would be difficult when cooking at-home or eating out. A further 16% believe that plant-based food is less tasty than meat and dairy, and 16% think plant-based meals simply aren’t good for you.
Judgement from others seems to be less of a barrier, as 1 in 10 are worried they’ll look like they’re jumping on a trend. 7% worry their friends and family will tease them about going plant-based – despite 5% thinking that going plant-based would actually give them something to talk about.
10% of the UK fear a plant-based diet would make them lose muscle, and 9% believe plant-based diets aren’t better for the environment as they’re claimed to be.
Sustainability is still not recognised by some. 36% of omnivores believe the planet has more than 50 - 100 years before food sources become unsustainable, which almost halves (19%) for flexitarians who deem it as already unsustainable.
Despite the figures showing that people are reluctant to go plant-based, more than half of the UK with a plant-based diet (54%) think that food sources will become unsustainable within the next 50 years.
The research also asked people what they’d prefer to remove from their diet - meat, dairy cheese, or dairy butter. 54% said dairy butter, 25% said dairy cheese and 19% said meat.
Half (49%) said they’d be happy to give up any of the three if there was a tasty, plant-based alternative. This this drops significantly to 33% for the over 55s who seem reluctant to change their ways.
Even though two thirds of the UK would, or have, made a switch to a plant-based diet, 71% of Brits consider themselves meat-eaters. Only 12% say they are flexitarian, fewer 6% say vegetarian, 3% pescatarian and only 2% vegan.
The research also suggests if you’re a man, you’re more likely to eat meat (75%) than a woman (67%), but geography also counts, as Wales and Northern Ireland are the biggest meat-eating areas in the UK (78%). This drops to 59% for Londoners – the area with the lowest number of meat-eaters and second highest number of vegan restaurants and organic food stores behind Bristol, according to Plant Based News.
Generational divides are also in-play for plant-based diets, as Millennials and Gen-Z are the most likely to be flexitarian (16% of 18–34-year-olds), dropping to half of that (8%) for the over 55s.
Damian Guha, General Manager of Upfield UK & Ireland said:“At Upfield, it is our job to continue bringing tasty, healthy, and sustainable plant-based foods to the market and to educate people on the benefits of these products. Something as simple as switching from dairy-butter to Flora-Plant B*tter, an alternative that has half the climate impact than diary butter, is an easy change for people to make that means they won’t sacrifice on taste.
"It is great to see so many people in the UK interested in eating more plant-based food. The benefits, as the research highlights, are numerous. From getting a more balanced diet, to reducing your impact on the environment, eating more plant-focused food can have brilliant results for you and the world around you.
On the other hand, it’s worrying to see the reasons why many might still be hesitant to broaden their culinary horizons to include more plant-based food. The facts that plenty in the UK still believe plant-based food doesn’t taste good, isn’t good for you, or the planet, shows there is still clearly work to do to show people that there are easy and delicious alternatives to both meat and dairy."